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Monday, Feb. 20, 2017

Truck Route

Posted Sunday, November 20, 2011, at 9:07 AM

We just returned from a very quick trip to western Pennsylvania... 2400 miles round trip. We took I-80 for the most part going, and several different interstate highways and side roads on the way back.

For me, this was my first trip back east since I was 15. I can't compare traffic to any previous time but I will say this... people that have to drive the super slabs of the east deserve hazardous duty pay.

I was amazed actually. I thought there was a lot of truck traffic on I-40, I-10 and I-5 in California, but nothing like the trucks back east. It's hard to imagine our economy is so bad when the ratio of trucks to cars on the roads I was traveling was probably close to 10-1... and by the way, don't slow down!

I-80 eastbound was a fairly busy road for trucks, but nothing like I was going to experience on my way home going the "southern route". Part of I-80 is toll road and I'm sure the trucks avoid it for the most part. All across Indiana and Ohio we stayed on the I-80/Tri-State toll road and traffic was actually much lighter than I-80 through Nebraska. Car toll was $27.

We started for home near Youngstown, Ohio on I-76 through Akron (tire town USA) Ohio, and caught I-71 into Columbus, OH. I-71 is where it really started, and it didn't let up until past Indianapolis.

We were driving a high profile vehicle so the 45 MPH cross winds and steady line of trucks made for a rather white knuckle trip for somebody not used to the traffic of the super highways. The amount of money it takes to keep the roads and bridges maintained is well spent since everything we get depends on those trucks.

Truck traffic has doubled in the last 20 years nationwide. A "freight tsunami" is on it's way unless something is done about our nations infrastructure according to this article that I think is worth the time... http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20091...

I have not seen what automatic spending cuts will occur when the "Super Congress" fails to make budget cuts and revenue increases as seems to be the forecast, but I hope highways find a way to keep funded going forward... I guess we must really need all the stuff those trucks are hauling.

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Scary, huh? Ponder a guesstimation of mine, based on the fuel and highway deterioration that is probably going to cripple the trucking industry. Imagine, seeing on the present highway system, Rickshaw type bicycles, hauling freight, coast to coast. Now, that will be a very busy highway, or a very vacant highway, with very skinny people hobbling down the 36-land path. (^8 Just a thought. Glad you had a safe trip.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 12:00 PM

Passed right through my neck of the woods. I'm off the chesterton/valparaiso exit (#31) in Indiana.

The toll road through Indiana was Leased out a few years ago.

It was before I even considered moving out here so I'm not sure of all of the detail but from my understanding, it was a great deal for the state.

The Hammond-Portage segment of the toll road is actually a lot heavier traffic than I-80 Nebraska. The construction doesn't help much either. It looks as though theyre about done though and it'll been expanded to 3 lanes both directions from Chicago to right before Lake Station.

I'm kind of thinking that you probably got on the toll road around Lake Station a couple miles before the Portage toll and had the pleasure of missing the traffic.

The also just completed construction on non-toll portion of I-80 right after Illinois-Indiana border. I haven't been on that part since it's been completely opened but in the middle of the project they had the I-65 ramp closed on the westbound side so all the truck traffic would have to detour west then circle back. you could wait an hour in stop and go traffic to get from exit 3 to the toll road exit. something like 20 miles.

-- Posted by npwinder on Sun, Nov 20, 2011, at 10:17 PM

I probably do err, but my echo-chamber is telling me that there was a Federal stipulation that I-80 was to be 'Free - Way' not 'Toll - way.' No big deal, I guess, since no Governing body feels they must adhere to laws passed by predecessors. Just a thought.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 4:25 PM

You're probably correct. I haven't found anything that said one way or another.

I will say that I don't mind the toll road. Much less traffic then the non-toll roads you can take. Also seems to be less law enforcement most days. takes a couple trips to get used to people passing you at 90 but once you do they make fantastic bird dogs.

-- Posted by npwinder on Mon, Nov 21, 2011, at 11:20 PM

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